Was thinking about it when reading Socrates "Ring of Gyges" and his talks of justice, and I wondered what really sits at the bottom of why we do anything at all.
This sounds reductionist, but it's not because we aren't the reduction in the same way that a human being can't be described by the elemental components that make up a human being. Even if our entire system of autonomy is based on a sort of biological logic system of fears and gains (like the digital ones and zeroes), we aren't simply ones and zeroes but the culmination of a whole complex array of evolution.
Still...it's not like the foundation plays no role. The foundation remains vastly important regardless of the complexity of the overall structure that's built on top and we've all heard the term "carrot and stick". One might say our entire society is a great stack of carrots and sticks. Who we talk and walk with and who we don't is based on fear or gain. And despite having an ever growing lexicon of complicated and abstract theories of mental processes and testimonies of why this or why that is or isn't, maybe this complexity can be addressed by examining the foundations of autonomous action itself. Why do we do anything at all? That answer might define the actual meaning of autonomy or "life" and define why we are...while failing to define who we are.
This interested me further since I remember N. Tesla (yes, the legendary...) reported to have chastised mathematicians of the time saying that, in short, modern science was becoming increasingly divorced from actual, physical science. That mathematical abstractions were taking the place of the fundamental objectivity required in the process of verification through actual, demonstrable experimentation. He worried that soon, instead of building upon scientific truths, we would begin to lean on theories and deviate from reality.
In a way, I think that has happened a bit with the decision making process. It's evolved into an extraordinary system. A system of thought that is capable not only of interpreting reality but conjuring possibilities. But at some point we come to believe as much in our mental conjuring rather than our direct experiences with reality and so our thoughts on things become increasing based on abstract ideas. We have no definitive example of actual justice, just a bunch of interpretations, and yet peoples lives are weighed on these scales. Love is another one of those mentally abstract ideas that has people tossing about or a long period of their lives because instead of understanding that, perhaps, there is a misunderstanding...we opt towards the abstract rather than concrete. Abstract thinking borne from an evolved and undisciplined(?) deviation from a basic understanding of how we think of things and why we do the things we do.
Well, that's all theory anyway. There's no moral convictions here, but I think that we are all trying to develop ourselves into a sense of what we want to be and decisions are the most important aspect of that. The crossroads. It's a point we come to in life and a point repeatedly introduced in any story. Over and over we are brought up to the crossroads. What we choose is important, but I also believe why we choose is just as important. Because every act is a decision. And every decision is the element of who we really are. But that doesn't mean we can't be something different...but even that requires decisions.
Tuesday, hello. Release Friday, I demand it.